Lauren Finkler writes at Western Courier that MacDonald’s Carol Koepke’s presentation entiled “Brand McDonald’s – Real Solutions in Extraordinary Times,” that took place in Western Illinois University’s Union Grand Ballroom on Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. was well attended.

Koepke’s career with McDonald’s started 28 years ago, when she was a kitchen crew member. Two years into her employment, she was offered an entry-level marketing position; today, she is McDonalds’ senior marketing director.

“Know that doors open in very strange ways,” Koepke said.

In her speech she discussed the rebuilding of the company since 2002, when all 14,700 McDonald’s restaurants experienced a significant decrease in sales.

In order to maneuver one of the largest business turnarounds, McDonald’s’ “Plan To Win” technique did the following: analyzed customer complaints, set new standards, made goals to build upon, looked at emerging food trends and appealed to more ethnicities.

Koepke emphasized the importance of the five p’s of marketing: people, products, place, price and promotion. According to Koepke McDonald’s has worked to make their employees friendly, their products tasty, their place clean, their prices affordable and their promotions insubordinate to their competitors.

Koepke said in 2010, we can likely expect McDonald’s to build upon McCafe by offering frappes and smoothies. She also mentioned plans to expand advertising onto the Internet to reach younger audiences.

Kelly Petersen, 25, a communications graduate student, attended the presentation. Petersen is also the owner of the clothing store Envy, located on the Square.

Although she works with a totally different product, she agrees that many of the marketing fundamentals that Koepke mentioned are applicable and important to success in all businesses.

“Business isn’t a rollercoaster, and you don’t want to be at the bottom,” Koepke said.

Four Random McDonald’s Facts:

1. The “Big Mac chant” (two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun) originated in 1971.

2. Justin Timberlake was chosen to sing “ba-da-ba-ba-ba I’m lovin’ it.”

3. Leno will announce one McDonald’s Monopoly winner on his show daily; they will win either 10 thousand or one million dollars.

4. Approximately 85 percent of McDonald’s’ are privately owned.

Western Courier